Barack Obama reflected Thursday on what he could do when running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois in the early 2000s that he most likely couldn’t do now — because of Fox News and social media.
In an interview with “The Daily Show,” the former president recalled campaigning in rural, mainly conservative areas and still connecting with voters on a personal level, even though they were skeptical of his progressive ideas.
“There wasn’t the filter that has been created by Fox News or the media infrastructure, the right-wing conspiracy theory folks, and so they came at me with an open mind,” he told host Trevor Noah.
“I could listen to them and they could listen to me and at the end of the day, they might say, ‘Well he’s a little liberal for our taste, but we have something in common,’ ― like the love they have for their children,” Obama continued. “There was some sense of connection.”
“I think the filter now has become so thick,” he said. “It started with Fox News and some of the other traditional media, and now with social media that’s gotten turbocharged. If you go into those same communities now, they have so many preconceptions about what somebody like me believes, cares about, etc., that it’s very hard to penetrate.”
That’s why it’s important for people to try to break through their information bubbles, said Obama, including progressives, because “we have some preconceptions that bring barriers as well.”
Watch Obama’s comments from the 8:30 mark here: